Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Day 21 of the General Chapter

It was very nice to attend Holy Mass said and sung in Dutch. Since my entry on Caldey, the Dutch and the Flemish Church had agreed on a common text of the Our Father, and so I made some mistakes. Dom NatanaĆ«l of Westmalle, was the main celebrant and he also celebrated his birthday today. Dom Celsus of Bethlehem reached the canonical age of 75 and treated his commission with chocolate, but this a bit later in the day. Today was also the feast day of Dom Damian of Spencer. In Brazil, our moderator of the day, Dom Bernardo of Novo Mundo, tols us, Cosmas and Damian are represented as children and today is a special children’s day today with a sharing of gifts and sweets. So he suggested Dom Damian to keep up this beautiful tradition.

Yet, the day was not spent in celebration, it was a working day. Dom Eamon, Abbot General, opened with the notice that in the Generalate two places become vacant, one for cellarer or economo, in charge of all the practical work in the house, and one for porter. If any of the houses have a candidate, they can let it know.

And then business began with a series of votes, similar to those of the last few days, and a proposal for some other votes. These votes were taken later in the day. Next came the nomination for the Coordinating Commission of the General Chapter 2020. We also listened to a short report on the working of the Law Commission. After the break we went into commissions to reflect on the reports concerning the Father Immediate in preparation of the afternoons exchange and discussion, and to make an evaluation of the General Chapter.

After yet another tasty lunch and much appreciated siesta, we resumed work with the votes which were presented during the first session of the day. Then we listened to what the  14 commissions found important concerning the Father Immediate. After the break we had a lively discussion on this. This was a memorable moment of the Chapter, because it expressed the great pastoral care of all, Abbots and Abbesses alike, for the whole Order in the line of the Charter of Charity.

After this exchange of ideas, we voted for the new Coordinating Commission, who will do a as great a job on the net Chapter as the CC did on this GC. Dom Elias of Getsemani is the new kid on the block and we took leave of Dom Bernardo, whose input was very much appreciated.

To end this beautiful day in even more beauty, we listened to the evaluation of the Delegates who said “We are unanimously happy to be here! We leave encouraged to walk happily towards the same goal. The experience of the GC brings us back to the challenges of our communities: living our lives fully is the only way open to the future…. We are challenged to live in truth. It is like an injection of fresh blood, new wine! It is an unforgettable experience for which we all thank!”

Fr Jan,
Region of the Isles